Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operators of the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered a meltdown after the earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan in 2011, has admitted to its bad habits and lack of safety that led to the world’s worst nuclear disaster in the last 25 years.
The admission came after a parliamentary inquiry into the disaster accused the company of collusion with industry regulators. Takefumi Anegawa, who heads the company’s reform task force, says that TEPCO completely admits that part of the report. He added that, although there were some misunderstandings regarding technological aspects of the report, the company admits the description of the organization culture and will try to change that. Several months ago, TEPCO president Naomi Hirose insisted that it could not have foreseen the scale of damage that the natural disasters would cause on the plant’s cooling systems, despite warnings from scientists. Now, almost 18 months after the disaster, the company is admitting, for the first time, that it could have avoided.
The meltdown of the plant’s three reactors is considered as the world’s worst radiological release since the incident in Chernobyl in 1986. Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors have been shutdown for inspection and only two have been restarted since then, drawing much criticism and protest from the growing anti-nuclear Japanese population. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan has pledged to eliminate nuclear energy from Japan’s energy mix, but the more business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party is expected to win the general elections this month. But despite the LDP’s non-commitment to the issue, it is expected to at least not increase the country’s nuclear power share.[ via TVNZ ]